In 2008, while deployed with the U.S. Army, Sergeant First Class Joseph James’ convoy was hit by an IED. He lost both of his legs, but he returned home with his signature unshakeable optimism intact. While still in the hospital, he spoke on the phone with his wife, saying, “Don’t worry about the legs, I’ll get new ones.” It’s that indomitable spirit that makes SFC James a light for his family, his wife, Jarin, and their children. The James’ family home wasn’t equipped to assist in SFC James’ recovery or to help in light of his disabilities, so Operation Finally Home offered to help. In 2014, the Jameses were invited to a Tennessee Titans game, but they were surprised to find out that the real gift was a brand-new, mortgage-free home. Watch as the Jameses joyfully receive their new home in Tennessee. Southern Living is proud to partner with Operation Finally Home. To make a donation to this great organization and support their efforts to honor our veterans, please visit or text BuildingHope to 41444.

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